The following is an excerpt from the new journal The Mother and Son Prayer Journal, written by Christie Thomas to help you deepen your connection to your faith while also strengthening the bond between you and your son. Check out the intro to her journal below and download the journal pages to share between you and your child.

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How to Use This Book

1. Focus Verses

At the beginning of each devotion I list the verses I used as the basis or that devotion. In many cases I have woven passages from the English Standard Version of the Bible into the devotion. You can decide whether you want to look up and pre-read the focus verses with your son or simply read the devotion. If you find it too much to read everything, save the focus verses for the times you want to learn more about the passage. It’s great to ask the question, “Is that really in the Bible?” Then go look it up and find out for yourselves!

2. Ask Each Other

This section provides a discussion question that gently introduces the theme of the devotion. You both get to ask the question, and you both get to answer the question. This will get you talking about not only the theme but also yourselves. You may be surprised by what you learn about each other!

3. Devotion

Read it out loud together. Reading to your child (even when he can read on his own) has enormous educational and relational benefits. You will probably find that sections you read together will show up in your daily life, giving you an extra chance to nurture his faith.

4. Prayer Section

If your son doesn’t love to write, this part may be a little tricky. As a mom, I know that it’s possible for me to put so much pressure on my son to write a legible prayer that it could suck the fun out of this journal faster than bleach could remove the dye from a black shirt.

The time you spend on the journal with your son shouldn’t feel like school. Make it fun! The great news is that God doesn’t need long, deep prayers. He loves to hear from our boys no matter what. Also, drawing a picture counts as a prayer just as much as writing it out does. I have three sons of different ages and writing abilities. When we get to the prayer sections, they can write, draw a picture, or dictate their prayer to me.

Suggestions for a child who doesn’t like to write:

•Use fun writing tools.
•Colorful gel pens help!
•Ask your son to write in list form, or just write a word or two.

You could even go so far as to forbid him to write in full sentences and see where that kind of reverse psychology takes you.

•Allow him to dictate his answers to you while you write.
•Have him draw his answers. You can even turn an answer into a comic strip with multiple frames.

5. Mother’s Prayer Section

You can write as much or as little as you want! Write it while you’re with your son, or take time during the week to write out a longer prayer on your own time. This is your space. After writing your prayer, be sure to share it with your son so he knows that you’re actively praying for him. Pour out your heart to God, and watch as he changes both of you!

Download these free journal pages to get started!